Links January 2009

Jennifer 8 Lee gave an interesting TED talk about the spread and evolution of what is called “Chinese food” [1]. In that talk she compares McDonalds to Microsoft and Chinese restaurants to Linux. Her points comparing the different local variations of Chinese food to the variations of Linux make sense.

The CentOS Plus repository has a kernel with support for the XFS filesystem, Postfix with MySQL support, and some other useful things [2].

Mary Gardiner comments about the recent loss of a blog server with all content [3]. One interesting point is that when you start using a service that maintains your data you should consider how to make personal backups in case the server goes away or you decide to stop being a customer.

Val Henson makes some interesting points about the reliability of Solid State Disks (SSD) [4]. Some people are planning to replace RAID arrays of disks with a single SSD with the idea that a SSD will be more reliable, this seems like a bad idea. Also with the risk of corruption it seems that we have a greater need for filesystems that store block checksums.

Lior Kaplan describes how to have multiple Linux bonding devices [5], the comment provides some interesting detail too. has a set of links to sites that have APIs which can be used to create mashups [6]. One of the many things I would do if I had a lot more spare time is to play with some of the web APIs that are out there.

Gunnar Wolf has written some insightful comments about the situation in Israel and Palestine [7]. He used to be a Zionist and spent some time living in Israel so he knows more about the topic than most commentators.

Charles Stross has written an informative post about Ubuntu on the EeePC [8]. What is noteworthy about this is not that he’s summarised the issues well, but that he is a well known science-fiction writer and he was responding to a SFWA member. One of his short stories is on my free short stories page [9]. He also wrote Accelerando which is one of the best sci-fi novels I’ve read (and it’s also free) [10].

Don Marti has written about Rent Seeking and proprietary software [11]. It’s an interesting article, nothing really new for anyone who has followed the news about the coal and nuclear industries.

Erik writes about “The Setting Sun” and points out that Scott McNealy had tried to capitalise on the SCO lawsuit but Red Hat has ended up beating them in the market [12].

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